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2013 Parking Price Increases At Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on 06/02/2013

Six Flags Magic Mountain Parking

We are not that far into the 2013 season at Six Flags Magic Mountain and the parking rates went up just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Ticket and season pass prices did not change, but here is what it’s going to cost you to park there now:

  • General Parking: $18/day (was $17)
  • RV/Oversized Parking: $25/day (no change)
  • Valet Parking: $35/day (was $30)
  • Season Parking Pass: $60.00 (was $50)

While these parking prices seem high, they are the second lowest out of all the Six Flags parks around the country. Only Fiesta Texas is lower at $17/day. Great America and Great Adventure are both a whopping $22/day and every other Six Flags park in the US charges $20/day. Why Magic Mountain is only charging $18 is a mystery to me, but I’m certainly not complaining.

Six Flags Magic Mountain Parking

A couple of years ago, I wrote an editorial piece for Theme Park Geekly called Why Aren’t There More Parking Garages at Theme Parks. I discussed the pros and cons of building a garage, what it would cost, and how it would get paid for. Take a look at it and let me know if you agree or disagree. Should more parks spend the money on garages?


  1. Mike

    06/02/2013 at 10:24 pm

    When was it $17 because I went there last year when they did the slurpee promotion and it was $15 although I didn’t have to pay.

    • Derek

      06/07/2013 at 2:27 pm

      I went there last summer around July and parking was $17

  2. Looper

    06/02/2013 at 10:29 pm

    For what its worth for the small amount of motorcycle riders the fee has dropped for parking from $17 to $10.

    If you have a Gold Pass with parking can you pay the difference for Valet and use that service?

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/04/2013 at 1:24 pm

      Good to know about the motorcycles. Thank you.

  3. Eric

    06/02/2013 at 11:43 pm

    Magic Mountain is a year round park, so their parking rate can be lower because they’ll collect that fee for more operating days to spread out the revenue. Just my opinion on that.

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/03/2013 at 10:58 pm

      C’mon, Eric, this is Magic Mountain. They’re not going to pass on savings like that to park guests just because they’re open year round. I wouldn’t. There’s got to be another reason they’re keeping these prices lower than most of the other parks.

      • James Z (not the other James)

        06/04/2013 at 2:56 am

        Think of the monopoly the park has on parking. They could make the parking $30 and what would people do? They’d complain about the high price of parking, pay, then go into the park. Do you really think they’d say “no thanks, we’re just not going to pay that” turn the car around and say goodbye to a day at the park?

        I really think it has to do with the product the park provides and the lack of value associated with it. Let’s be honest, in all the park of So Cal, SFMM tries the least.

  4. Mrod

    06/03/2013 at 10:25 am

    Parking went from $15 to $17 when Drop of Doom opened, so it was only $17 for about a year. And no, you can’t pay the difference for valet if you have a gold pass because the valet service is an outside vendor.

  5. Alex

    06/03/2013 at 1:40 pm

    Me personally, I do not let anybody drive my car especially valets… good way to say goodbye to all your spare coins. As far as the Parking lot goes, I have always wondered why there was never a parking structure. Both Disneyland and Universal Studios have parking structures. There is nothing worse than coming to your car after spending the whole day at a themepark in the sun just to get into your oven cooked car. If they do not come out with a new ride in one particular year and instead of spending 20 million on that new ride and invested that money in a parking structure instead think it would be an okay sacrifice.

    • Eric

      06/03/2013 at 9:59 pm

      If Six Flags would consider building a three- or four-level parking structure over the first third of the lot, they could devote the remainder of the space to park expansion. As long as they paint over the lines, first, of course. 😉

      • The Coaster Guy

        06/03/2013 at 10:59 pm

        No, not just paint over the lines. Get rid of the asphalt completely and landscape the ride area!

        • Eric

          06/04/2013 at 7:37 pm

          I was just picking on the park for the way they did Scream! Over the years I’ve wondered if Scream! was never meant to be permanent because of where they put it and how they never really cleaned up the area. But it just passed its 10-year anniversary at SFMM, so it ain’t going anywhere anytime soon.

  6. JJ

    06/03/2013 at 2:13 pm

    I will say even though the parking went up there employees did a great job of making sure we got the best price for admission. We had $20 off coupons and there where 5 in our group. Their employees said we could buy 3 season passes and use two of the free friends passes (comes in a coupon book with your season pass) for the other two people. So all in all we got 3 season passes, still have one more free pass all for less than it would have been for 5 of us with $20 off coupons. We will be heading back again later this year.

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/03/2013 at 11:00 pm

      That’s a great deal if you have a big group.

  7. JJJ

    06/03/2013 at 6:19 pm

    The garage article assumes a price of $15,000 per stall for a garage….Nope. Especially not in California, with earthquake engineering.

    $25,000 a stall is more likely. Thats $125,000,000.

    And then in 40 years, you get to garage end of life and you find yourself spending tons and tons on a non-deconstructive rebuild or a teardown and rebuild.

    Keep that in mind next time youre in downtown LA and you roll into a 10 floor garage. The auto-dependency of LA costs the economy billions in wasted dollars.

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/03/2013 at 11:03 pm

      Yah, I was sticking to the very low end of the range that I was reading about because I figured Six Flags wouldn’t ever build anything too fancy. My mind is still blown on how expensive parking garages are. I had no idea!!

    • James Z (not the other James)

      06/04/2013 at 3:01 am

      I think the non-deconstructive double negative cancels eachother out to actually end up being “constructive.”

      40 years end of life?, doubt it. Things built in Cali these days will be standing when the world ends.

      The park probably doesn’t *need* a parking garage, but for $18 a spot, the parking situation and transportation from the lot BLOWS.

      • Looper

        06/04/2013 at 9:06 am

        James Z (not the other James) says: “the parking situation and transportation from the lot BLOWS.”

        The parking lot pick-up area’s and drop offs returning from main gate need attention. With 3 pick up areas in parking lot taking to 1 drop off area at main gate not a huge deal. But the traffic pattern of the buses really needs to be worked on. The bus doors are on wrong side and bus is going away from main gate when picking up guests to take to main gate. The water slide for Hurricane Harbor blocks the bus route and only 1 bus at a time is allowed to pass through that area. Seems that SFMM was only thinking about the all mighty dollar when placing that slide in the bus route and not the safety of the guests or hosts that must navigate that area with the former trams and now buses. The bus route needs to be redesigned to support the buses and SFMM needs to get rid of that mentality of its been good enough for the past 10 years so lets leave it alone.

        At night now when leaving SFMM main gate returning back to the parking lot the buses are jam packed. Unbelievable when coming to the first stop in parking lot and 50 people might be standing in the aisles and trying to exit from any and i mean any seat is nearly impossible.

        It sure is to bad a design like Mickey and Friends parking lot at Disneyland cant be done, as they only support one main pickup area and one main drop off area. Or can it?, how about one main pickup area in the middle of the big white wooden coaster Colossus. Pick up and drop off station.

        Unless of course that a 10,000 car parking structure could be built at tip off the first parking lot and feed it up that walkway towards the main gate. At same time since that bus road would no longer be needed, line it with shops such as Universal has done as they have no shuttle service from their lots to main gate they feed you through the City Walk type area.

        Ok enough rambling … bottom line remove Tornado the water slide from Hurricane Harbor to eliminate 4 turns and 3 blind corners all for safety reasons.

        Looking forward to the opening of Full Throttle around mid Sept.

        • The Coaster Guy

          06/04/2013 at 1:43 pm

          I’ve spoken to a few of the bus drivers, Looper, and they couldn’t agree with you more. They hate the layout of the bus route and those tight, blind corners.

          Technically, I’m sure a parking garage could be built along the entire front entrance road into the park, eliminating the need for the existing parking lots all together. The toll booths could basically stay where they are, but be underneath the garage, and all the entrance lanes before the booths could be underneath the garage as well, exactly like the Mickey & Friends garage. The garage could extend further down the entrance road, past the toll booths. One lane could be used for buses, RVs, and oversized vehicles. That lane could extend through the garage, or just be on the backside of it, allowing those vehicles to pass through and park in an open area on the other side of the garage, which could also be used for overflow parking. It might be kind of unsightly right in front of the park like that, but you could have escalators dropping people right into the front plaza, completely eliminating the need for the buses. Ahhh…if money only grew on trees!!

          • Eric

            06/04/2013 at 7:51 pm

            When I was out at the park recently, I took my first ride on a SFMM bus. I was the only one aboard and struck up a conversation with the driver (normally you can’t do that on a regular transit bus). He told me about how hard it is to drive that route because of near collisions and the way they have the buses routed to pick up passengers with the doors facing the parking lot. It was an easy fix at the front gate end—just have the buses circle the loop in the opposite direction that the trams did. But at the parking lot end, it’s a toughie. I’ve often thought that they should run the trams (now buses) against the Hurricane Harbor fence and make that island between the buses and the exit from the parking lot into a walkway leading to the main gate. The way it is now could work because guests would merge with passengers getting off of the buses and head to the ticket booths. There would not likely be much pedestrian traffic waiting to board buses to return to the parking lot. Later on, when more people are leaving, some will wait for the bus; some will just keep walking to their car down that walkway on the island. There would be no more crossing the bus route like there is now.

        • Tacalert

          06/06/2013 at 9:16 am

          The busses are full at night because people are just too lazy to walk to their cars.

          I have never taken the trams or the new busses because it is just faster to walk.

  8. Justin

    06/03/2013 at 9:01 pm

    I’m conflicted on the subject of a parking garage. It has positive and negative outcomes. The park would spend lots of money to get a parking garage. I think that the garage would get lots of graffiti on it. A way to prevent it would be to install security cameras, but it would add to the cost of the garage. If they had a parking garage, it would open up more land for the park where the parking lots used to be. Also adding a big grey parking garage in an empty space might not look that good. It would be cool if there was a big wrap that said Six Flags Magic Mountain on it, but it would probably just be covered with takis adds.

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/03/2013 at 11:07 pm

      Security cameras and graffiti removal would really be minuscule costs on a project of this size. Lots of land would definitely be made available for future park expansion. The aesthetics of the garage would not be a big deal, just build it out back where it isn’t very visible and have the shuttle fleet make direct runs to the entrance. Besides, who said it needed to be grey? You could paint it whatever color you wanted, add a mural, or grow ivy on the side. Although, the Taki ads would be a good way for them to defer even more of the costs.

      • Eric

        06/04/2013 at 7:58 pm

        Like most parks in the SoCal area, they had lots of (then) cheap land to work with, which allowed many, many acres to be devoted to parking. Land got expensive and scarce once neighborhoods and surrounding businesses moved in. This was a factor in Walt Disney purchasing so much land in Florida for his park there.

        I was amazed at the cost of something as simple as a parking structure. For years I thought building one would be a good idea, but now that I see how much they cost, I wouldn’t plan on seeing one at SFMM anytime soon, unfortunately.

  9. drakonas84

    06/04/2013 at 7:15 am

    If you look at the park as a whole the majority of buildings are recycled. The city has tons of land around the park that they’ve tried to get for decades with no luck. A parking garage would give them more land but I doubt they would invest in a building of that size. Everything they’ve invested in that park for the most part can be parted and transplated somewhere else. Also if they did do it they have 2 problems the land they open up is blocked by the water park and the other side is the backlot for park operations. All they would have is to extend the pathway near colosus which I think would be an awkward design for a amusement park if they made that pathway any farther.

    Also as far as scream being on concrete they did that cause one day it will be easily transplanted just like deja vu was. But yes they should have hired a graphitti artist for the asphalt using the rides colors would have been fairly cheap. What’s worse about that ride is the giant blotch of white paint on the ground near the helix they leave there. It was to cover stuff up from the 2004 incident.

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/04/2013 at 1:56 pm

      The land around the park is owned by private developers and there is a massive project currently in the works to build it out as a combination of residential and commercial space, with lots of houses, apartments, and a shopping center.

      Not that they’d have to right away, but they could easily extend the park into the parking lot if they wanted. Access could be provided around and even through Scream!, because like you said, that ride could easily be moved to another park. That would completely open up the entire 2nd and/or 3rd parking lots as a blank canvas for future expansion.

      Isn’t armchair quarterbacking fun?!? 🙂

    • Dane. P

      06/08/2013 at 1:35 pm

      what was the 2004 incident

  10. Josh

    06/04/2013 at 12:33 pm

    Are you kidding me? Disneyland charges less for parking. DISNEYLAND FOR GOD’S SAKE!!! And they spend a ton more on their parking than Magic Mountain ever has (or will).

    • The Coaster Guy

      06/04/2013 at 1:57 pm

      What he said. Of course, their garage also holds 10,000 cars and is pretty much full every day of the year, so it’s more than paying for itself.

  11. drakonas84

    06/04/2013 at 3:25 pm

    They could also technically move the park operations as well there all trailers anyways. That would give them the ability to expand dc universe.

    One thing about that parking lot is there’s barely any cost. Fix paint every few years and a few potholes. The trams run off of propane so its cheaper fuel. So a lot of that parking money is pure profit. Also its used for commercials the chevy commercial with rob dyredek doing the barrel roll etc. They’d have to be absolutely out of park space and no old rides or buildings to knock down.

    But they still have space in the park itself. Cyclone bay could use some life as its named after a ride that’s not even there anymore and looks pretty beat up from recent pictures. Last time I was there it looked bad. Also get rid of the go kart track for space for a ride. Its an amusement park not a local family fun center.

    • JJJ

      06/04/2013 at 7:34 pm

      Parking lots are surprisingly expensive. Think $1,000 per STALL every 10 years for repaving, and ongoing maintenance (lighting, brushing up paint, pot hole repairs etc)

  12. Brandon

    06/07/2013 at 12:01 pm

    I am still suprised at what seems like a lack of planning for implementation of the new busses. Granted they had to do something relatively quick as the trams were beyond on their last leg, but it wouldnt have cost them that much more to devise a better operation.

    As mentioned in the comments here, I think moving the roadway closer to the fenceline of HH and routing pedestrians along the outside (closer to the entry/exit road) is an easy fix to elimate the crossing. I also feel like they need to take out the first row of disabled parking so that the tight corner can be expanded. They can’t really do anything about having the doors on the “wrong side”, however adding a mid-point turnaround after the 2nd pick up would mean the busses wouldnt have to go to the far end to turn around during the morning hours.

    Another thing I notice as well…folks tend to congregate at that first tram stop closest the the park, even when they are no longer actively “parking” that area. When I worked at the TTC at Disney World (aka Magic Kingdom parking), we used a movable pole to signify where tram loading was at any given point instead of using specific pick up spots. The idea is that as you parked cars back, the tram stop follows where the people are. Then at night, you revert to your simple one stop in the middle of each section.

    Now I know that the design of the lot at the Mountain makes this a little more challenging – at Disney the rows run perpendicular to the tram lane – but it could work.

  13. felipe

    09/02/2013 at 1:24 am

    Hi 🙂 ummm… I just had a question..? I just bought 6 gold passes yesterday, but didn’t receive the vallet pass books, what can I do to receive them??

    • The Coaster Guy

      09/02/2013 at 7:46 am

      The 2013 season ends today, so you wouldn’t get those. I assume you have 2014 passes and those value books won’t be out until early next year. When they do come out, you’ll just go back to the registration center and show them your pass. They’ll scan it and hand you a coupon book.

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